Saturday, October 3, 2015

Why do we have a conscience?

Its been a while since I have posted, but thought this was a good one to put out there...

Question for discussion:

If all other species on the face of the earth apparently act entirely out of instinct (including apes, even though they can learn to interact at an almost human level) when threatened, or interacting with family, pack, herd, etc., why do only humans seem to have a conscience?

If after all these millions of years only a single species has developed a conscience, doesn't that make you wonder why not other species? If we acted entirely on instinct and without a conscience, what kind of a species would we, humans, be?

  • Consider the manner in which snakes defend themselves, no regret for taking a bite out of your leg for getting in their space.
  • Bears have no issue in attacking if you are in their area and you either appear to be a threat or might have/be food.
  • Lions and many other animals that live in a community remove males from thier group to prevent them from taking over, but seemingly no regrets.
  • Racoons/rats/mice/roaches feel no remorse for invading your home and taking from you without asking permission.
  • Crocodiles/Alligators eat what they want and dont feel bad about munching on a grazer they nabbed by the water.

But humans...we are constantly weighing our decisions against our conscience to determine what is "right" or "wrong" in our daily lives. There has got to be a reason for it, and I can't see how only 1 species on the planet has developed a conscience simply by chance.

Could you imagine the kind of human world we would live in if we didn't have our conscience to guide us? We would take what we want, how we want, when we want, from whomever we want, and not care one iota about the consequences. And if we did that, wouldn't most all of our actions be considered "wrong", or if you are a believer, these actions would be considered a "sin" that violates the 10 Commandments?

It is kind of interesting to consider that all the actions that our conscience tells us are "wrong" or even questionable, are also essentially sinful in nature. This is indicative of man's sinful nature at war with the Spirit of the Lord in our lives, regardless of whether you are a believer or not.

Just food for thought. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

BSA and the attack of the activists

Please note that in this post I am not targeting the LGBT community as a whole, only the hard-line activist groups that claim to represent the LGBT community.

Over the last couple of years the LGBT activists have made it a point to target the Boys Scouts of America claiming that the membership policies of the BSA violate civil rights. I think there is a huge piece of this discussion that is missing from virtually every article and story about the Boy scouts and their membership/volunteer policies: Boy Scouts of America is a private, membership-based organization.

That means if you don't want to be a part of it, don't! Go find or start your own organization that meets your specific needs, and stop trying to change others policies. If you don't want your kid to play soccer with the AYSO because of thier rules, go play at the YMCA, or find another group to play with. Why should an entire organization change their rules for you? Why don't you go join Trail Life USA, a Christian alternative to BSA. Oh wait, you won't be able to... because they discriminate against homosexuals!

Boy Scouts is for the boys (and girls through the Venturing program) that we are trying to train up to be the next generation of leaders in this country. Please stop trying to push your political agendas on an organization that has worked for over 100 years successfully to educate, train, empower, and grow the strength and backbone of our nations success -- our youth.

Scouting teaches the youth and adults in the program the importance of being in service to others. The Scout Law says "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent." What are your values and how are you helping to promote a positive social agenda? So far the only thing the LGBT activists have been doing is to bully (I mean lobby) private community-based organizations into conforming to what they perceive to be their rights. But what about the rights of the organization and its members NOT to be part of the LGBT community?

It seems that the LGBT activists are doing everything possible to create a socio-political environment where being heterosexual is persecuted and looked down upon. That sounds a bit like a prejudice to me, and a violation of my civil rights. Maybe you should be more tolerant toward those who are straight and stop forcing others to be slaves to your will. Why do others have to accept you as you are, but you don't have to accept others as they are?

That said, if you keep your sexuality to yourself, and just focus on being a good role model for the youth, nobody will care if you are gay, straight, Christian, Jewish, purple, green, or whatever. The only impact you are having is to create unnecessary drama and conflict,  eliminating key funding and resources that have been helping to grow our nations youth for over a century.

There is no reason whatsoever for any discussion about a persons sexual preferences to take place around scouting youth or events. Period. If you are homosexual, keep it to yourself. If you are heterosexual keep it to yourself. Not one of these kids should to be having that type of conversation during any scouting related activity, and no adult should ever be having that kind of discussion with scouts or even other scouting parents/adults. Discussions on sex and sexuality are to be held in private by parent's and children when and only when the parent deems it necessary for this discussion topic to be broached.

Is there any other single organization present in this country that has contributed so successfully to training the youth of tomorrow? Which LGBT group has made such a positive impact on our youth? So far the only success I am seeing from LGBT activists is success in helping to remove funding for scouting programs, helping to dissolve decades old scouting relationships with charter organizations, and helping to leave the Boy Scout youth without the resources to continue growing and maturing in a time-tested positive environment.

Hats off to the LGBT activists for helping to dismantle the most successful youth program the United States of America has ever had.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gun Control is the latest "Wag the Dog" issue

You know what really annoys the heck outta me? When people make irrational expectations and impositions on the masses based on emotional responses to fringe scenarios.

All the hoopla and money spent on anti-gun regulation will not in any way limit the availability of firearms to criminals. Illegally obtained firearms come from more sources than US citizens can imagine. Sadly the US government has unwittingly been the primary supplier of firearms to the criminal base. By providing firearms over many many years to Mexico, Africa, and the Middle East we are introducing millions of dollars in firearms to other entities that we have NO CONTROL OVER for their firearms distribution.

The US State Department has an entire section on military assistance and reports to prove where the Class I assistance goes (yeah that's all small arms, automatic rifles, shotguns, etc). Then there are another set of classifications under this department that permit the transfer of everything up to biological and nuclear weapons design and testing.

Tack onto this the fact we have a separate department that is all about ensuring we can transfer anything and everything to other countries and agencies in the interest of security cooperation:

They are planning to provide $2.6B in petroleum products (approx 860 million gallons) to Israel... Really? (

Why are there so many who are jobless in the US? Why are we allowing importation of goods without taxing them to make it more cost effective to manufacture here in the US? Put high taxes on imports, reduce the cost of US based employment and manufacturing, and bring focus back to the US instead of trying to improve the world and neglecting our own.

Gun control legislation is simply the US government's attempt to "wag the dog", slight of hand to get you focused on the left hand while the right hand is engaged in what should be considered criminal activity. Where is the common sense in all of this? Who is going to be the first person to introduce legislation to ban pressure cookers?

If you have common sense, then take the time to tell our government to cease foreign aid, focus on aiding our citizens and not disarming them, stop providing millions of dollars in firearms to third parties, penalize outsourcing of jobs to make it cost prohibitive, penalize the import of goods to make it more cost effective to manufacture in the US, and help rebuild the American Dream!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

SB323 - Youth Equality Act

SB323, titled the "Youth Equality Act" is an affront to private non-profit organizations. Authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, and sponsored by Equality California, this document ( indicates Equality California is clearly discriminating against not only the Boy Scouts of America, but against anyone who is not part of the LGBT community.

The message being sent is a simple one: While the LGBT community preaches tolerance, they are only seeking tolerance of other groups toward their lifestyle. By sponsoring SB323 they are forcing EVERYONE to be tolerant of the LGBT community, but they are not, in turn, being tolerant of the straight community, or the religious community. As a matter of fact, I could  locate verbiage on the Equality California website that indicates they are only fighting for the rights of the LGBT community, however there is no mention of the rights for straight people at all. That sounds like discrimination to me, discrimination against the straight community.

Even though the bill has been labeled "A bill aimed at pressuring the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay members" by the Dallas News, and takes aim at removing their non-profit status, it is important that every non-profit organization in California take note of the wording found in this bill.

An excerpt from the bill requires that:
(C) The organization does not discriminate on the basis gender identity, race, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or religious affiliation.
Based on this wording, SB323 is actually going to allow the state to exclude from non-profit status:
  • Any religious group (the Catholic church is one of the largest providers of free health care in the nation); 
  • Fraternities, sororities, the Girl Scouts, Boys only and Girls only private schools and universities (all gender based);
  • Any organization targeting specific races or nationalities including the ACLU ("The ACLU also works to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; women; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; prisoners; and people with disabilities" - excerpt from their website which is discriminatory against Caucasian heterosexual males)
  • And in the course of the bill, will also serve to remove the non-profit status from the LGBT groups (as they target furthering the rights of only the LGBT community and excluding the straight community, which again is discrimination), such as the one sponsoring the bill, Equality California. 
So while the LGBT community and Senator Lara are attempting to provide for youth advocacy, they are actually going to reduce the resources available to youth in California by limiting the tax breaks that existing organizations already receive while attempting to provide for today's youth. It seems to me a better solution would be to start another youth organization that is more ideal for those people who feel that the Boy Scouts does not meet their needs or is too restrictive an environment for some youth/leaders who wish to be active in such a community.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Equal Rights - The Stupidity Factor

Preface: This posting will probably ostracize me from some friends and family, and may cost me some of those relationships. I would hope that any friends and family that read this understand that I support equal rights and freedoms, and that I respect each group's right to retain their freedoms. 

Let me first say that I am really getting tired of all the one-sided equal rights brew-ha-ha. Everyone wants to be granted their equal rights. The problem occurs when one groups equal rights infringe upon those of another group.

This is more about conveying my contempt for double standards used throughout the continuing equal rights debate. Its simple folks, consider the First Amendment of the Constitution: of the United States, Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Based on this, if you claim to be a Christian, but do not believe in the resurrection of Christ, then you are not a Christian, as you do not believe in one of the core principles of the religion. Time to choose to either embrace the values of Christianity, or go find another religion. This does not mean you get to impose your beliefs on the rest of Christianity, and it does not permit you to waste the time of our already over-taxed court system by trying to have the judicial system force all of Christiandom to accept your belief.

Let us explore this interesting concept in a slightly different way...

If you are a devout and your religious texts embrace same gender marriage, then stick to your guns. If it does not, then that religious belief may not be for you and you should either support your religious texts, or find another religion that conforms to what you want to believe and support, or go found your own religious group that holds true to your values. 

The same holds true for non-religious organizations. If a private entity (church, religious organization, business, school, university, social group) has rules in place regarding their membership, practices, requirements, etc, then leave it alone. If its a public entity, then leave them alone! If you don't want to be part of that organization for whatever reason, then don't! Start your own organization, religion, school, whatever. Don't go pushing yourself into an organization that you do not support.

Here is an example. There is a group of people who did not like parts of the Boy Scouts program, so they started their own. They are called the Cascadia Scouts, and they have no affiliation with the Boy Scouts at all. They camp, and do all kinds of stuff like that, but they are not Boy Scouts, and don't want to be Boy Scouts. A new interest group was started and it is appealing to those who hold similar values.

Now we get into another hot topic: Same Gender Marriages

While there is a history of same gender unions throughout known history , today, out of 193 countries recognized by the United States, only 11 allow same sex marriages. That's barely 5% of all countries in the world. Strangely enough, that really does not have any influence over this article one bit, but it is an interesting point to note.

Unfortunately this kind of falls back to "religious doctrine" versus "equal rights under our Constitution." For the sake of this discussion lets try to separate the two. Attempting to force all religions to accept and embrace same gender marriage via court order or written law  is an infringement of our First Amendment rights.

If you put into place a law that allows all existing marriages are civil unions, any new civil unions should allow any couple, heterosexual or homosexual, to be legally bound and entitled to equal rights under the law, regardless of religious or social affiliation, you have now honored the First Amendment, and allowed couples the same legal rights regardless of gender.

Keep in mind that if you intend to be part of a same gender civil union, you may be going against your religious beliefs. Change the law, don't try forcing change upon the religions of the world. They are not yours to change. Start a new religion if yours doesn't suit your needs/beliefs.

That my friends is how this Equal Rights argument over homosexuality should be handled.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy 15th Birthday, Zachary!

Dear Zac,
15 years ago today God gave us another child. You. We love watching your mind work as you use it to solve problems, reason through life's trials, and navigate the complex relationships and opportunities that will shape you as you traverse adolescence and make your way to adult-hood.

We know the challenges you will be facing as you blaze the path of glory that will ultimately allow you to realize your dreams by shedding light on the goals you will achieve to get there. We are here for you to use as sources of experience, knowledge and wisdom.

We hope that you will take this opportunity to make any changes you need to ensure you go through each and every day, taking the time to learn new and valuable information, surrounding yourself with the people who will challenge your intellect, driving you to success, and pushing you to grow and experience all the opportunities life has to offer.

May the Lord wrap you in his influence, and grace you with the wisdom to minister to others on your journey in life.

- Love, Mom and Dad

Friday, February 8, 2013

ZOMG!!! Android ICS for my HTC Thunderbolt!

I waited... I waited almost a year in anticipation of Verizon's 4G network and the potential of what would come from it. My contract had already expired, and I waited. When the Thunderbolt was first released by Verizon, I waited another month for the reviews, then I bought it. I was so excited, speed, power, data, information, at my fingertips! Yes!!!

Then, Android Ice Cream Sandwich was announced to be released for 2012... Again, uber-excited! Then delay, after delay, after delay. Six months later, nothing. July... August... October... November... nothing. Then another announcement in January of this year, 2013. Well, I was eagerly anticipating this, but held no expectations. HTC and Verizon had already pushed it back a year. Finally, just a few days ago, as February was getting started the actual roll out was announced. What? Really??!! Woohoo!

So I ran the update. Saw the neat new lock window and thought "This is going to SWEEEEEEET!"

I unlocked the screen and there was a bit of a delay while the "Loading..." screen showed. Then I started trying to navigate. Yes, TRYING. This was the slowest, most sluggish environment I had used in ... years!. the following represents the string of expletives that issues forth while trying for 3 days to resolve the sluggiish UI: !@#)&^#$@^@#)  !@#%^%#$@)!@_&P $%&$ *(&# ^&@#( %^!@(& #$ %!@# % #)*%^&@#(%!@#

OK, I was done. Annoyed beyond belief. I had tried everything I could think of and everything that had been suggested online, expect a factory reset. I really didnt wat to do that. I would have to reload all of my apps. All off them. /cry.

I figured at this point, I really dotn have anything to lose. So I performed a factory reset. An hour later after running through the setup, adding back a couple of often used apps, I was feeling pretty good. The UI was responding well, and the delay was gone. Obviously there was something causing the issue. For now, I am good to go. Its working well, and I still love my android-powered THC Thunderbolt.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chick-Fill-A, Homosexuality, Christianity, and Marriage.

There has been a lot of controversy over the whole Chik-Fil-A thing, whether or not it's right for someone proclaiming to be a Christian to make such a statement. If my post offends you, I am sorry you are offended. The rest of the world has decided to chime in, so I choose to do the same:

The Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments (Lev 18:22, 20:14, Rom 1:24-28, 1Cor 6:9) condemn same sex marriages and same sex sexual relationships. Marriage is clearly Biblically defined as between a male and a female (Gen 2:24, 1Cor 7:2-16, Eph 5:23-33). As Christians, we are taught NOT to condone or ignore sin, but we are also taught that we are to share the love of God, and the fogiveness offerred to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. As Christians we are to speak with gentleness and respect (1Pet 3:15), and remember that we as CHRISTIANS will be hated for our convictions, but that we do not belong to the world, and that is the truth of why we Christians will be hated for our standings in controversial topics (John 15:18-19).

When it comes to personal choices, I have made many decisions in my life that others would not make when put into the same situations. It is not my place to pass judgement or criticize.  With every rights group chiming into the the various topics of discussion, I become frustrated when everyone else is permitted to speak their mind, say what they want to whomever they want under the 1st Amendment, but as soon as a Christian voices their opinion, it’s like as if the world is being pulled apart at the seams! How dare this person speak out! For shame! Wait... what? Everyone else can voice their opinion, and the world has to accept it, but as soon as someone speaks out from a religious perspective, now it’s hate speech, and they are not allowed to voice their opinion???

Hold the phone. Everyone WANTS equal rights, the right to say and do what they want, when they want, how they want, but only if the equal rights do not include allowing others to voice opposing opinions... How exactly is that equal? Fighting for equal rights means that they are equal...not equal for some and not others.

I was blessed into marriage by a Christian minister in the eyes of God Almighty, and not by a justice of the peace.  Abolish the term “marriage” from legal documents, make all legal arrangements “Civil Unions” for all I care. My marriage is in the eyes of God in the Christian faith. If your religion allows you to get married, go for it. If not, be content with a civil union, or go off and found a religion that allows you to get married! Sheesh!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar!

The following story is often credited to Harvey Mackay. He has an interesting blog that is sales oriented, and I find him to be insightful in some of his views.

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar

No one can make you serve customers well.....that's because great service is a choice. Harvey Mackay, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey ..

He handed my friend a laminated card and said: 'I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement.'

Taken aback, Harvey read the card.. It said: Wally's Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment...

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, 'Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.' My friend said jokingly, 'No, I'd prefer a soft drink.' Wally smiled and said, 'No problem I have a cooler
up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice..' Almost stuttering, Harvey said, 'I'll take a Diet Coke.'

Handing him his drink, Wally said, 'If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.'

As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio.'

And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

'Tell me, Wally,' my amazed friend asked the driver, 'have you always served customers like this?'

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. 'No, not always.. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.

He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, 'Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd..'

'That hit me right between the eyes,' said Wally. 'Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their
drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.'

'I take it that has paid off for you,' Harvey said.

'It sure has,' Wally replied. 'My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.'

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I've probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn't do any of what I was suggesting..

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about us?  Smile, and the whole world smiles with you... The ball is in our hands! A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up... let us do good to all people.

Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar.

Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans. SORROW looks back, WORRY looks around, and FAITH looks UP... "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." And while in the storm, give it to God and let him handle it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Someone you know depressed?

The best way out of a depression is through the front door! What does that mean? It means GET UP! Go for a walk, run, bike ride, go to the gym, do something to get your endorphin's going! If you sit around, watching TV, napping, eating, etc, you are just going further and further down a slippery slope.

On a personal note, I was out of a regular job for about two and a half years. It almost destroyed me and my marriage. Not because I was out of work, but because men need to work, and without it we feel like we are just floating by, not in control, slipping further away from reality. It's in our nature to be self sufficient and provide for our families. If we are not working, we start getting depressed and that happens really, REALLY FAST! Usually within only a few weeks and it often happens so fast you don't even realize it until its too late. 

Now what if you are already slipping and sliding in your depression, and have gone to the shrink to get meds? Well anti-depressants won't cure you. They just numb you up so you have a harder time recovering. So get off the drugs, get off your ass, and suck it up buttercup. Life is hard, but we all have hard times. Chances are you are not going through the worst time in your life, it just feels that way right now. 

Another thing you need to do is find someone who you can talk to about how your feeling, what you are going through. Your spouse should be the first person you talk to so they know whats going on. Then find a friend to talk to regularly. Don't hide in your depression, you won't be able to climb out!

Have you talked to God recently? Probably not... get God. He can help... A LOT! Pray to God like you are talking to a good friend. He listens to everything you say. Just talk to Him. If you have a bible, start reading it...just start at the beginning, you may not find the key to your depression, but it will certainly give you enough to think about to keep your brain moving.

Out of a job, and having trouble finding one? 
  • Go volunteer doing something you can get into.
  • Apply for ANYTHING, even if its not what you really want to do
  • Doing anything is better than doing nothing.
Sitting on the couch, watching TV, playing video games, napping?
  • Get up! 
  • Go for a run, jog, bike ride, take the dog for a walk
OK, now to conclude, if you are at your computer reading this, get off your ass and go do something! I am going to heed my own advice...time to take the wife & son to the gym, then off to breakfast! 


Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Book Negotiation

About two years ago, when my son was in sixth grade, his teachers were constantly telling me that he was not completing his book reports. I was absolutely blown away. I knew he could read, and he always read well. He was in the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program and scored very high on his tests. But for some reason, he was totally just ignoring the book reports, which happened to be a large chunk of his grades.

I took it upon my self to try to figure out why my smart little kid would not pick up a book and read, especially since I have always been such a voracious reader. As it turns out, the problem was not his ability to read, but it was a lack of interest in the books that were available!

I tried some comic books, Zane Grey novels, S.E. Hinton, Stephen Lawhead, etc. No interest at all. I figured I needed to try a different approach. Instead of trying to get him to read what I had already read over the years, I took a trip to the local Barnes and Noble and asked one of the staff members for a bit of help on books for teens.

The young lady at B&N recommended James Patterson's series Maximum Ride. So I checked it out. It turns out to be an interesting series about genetically modified kids on the lam from a bunch of whack job scientists. I wondered if my 11 year old could handle it. I figured the wort thing that could happen was I'd be out a few bucks for the book, so off to the check out I went.

When I got home, I spent some time working on my son to try to get him engaged in the book. As he started reading each chapter, he kept coming and talking to me about the book. Unfortunately, I had not read it, so I had no idea what he was talking about. I decided I needed to be ahead of the game so I could not look like an idiot when he came to talk to me about the book.

I sent my son to bed for the night, grabbed the book, and read the entire thing in a single sitting. It was a very fast read and was done about the time I planned to go to bed.

The next night, I found myself in an interesting position... When my son came to talk to me about the book, I realized that he had only read a few pages before coming out to talk about it. He was scamming me, thinking that since I had no knowledge of the book the day before, he could tall me any thing about it and I would have to believe what he said. Let me tell you, the look on his face when I told him "Just wait till xxx learns about her mother in the next chapter..." was priceless! I then told him he needed to keep reading, and gave him a deadline to finish the book.

I couldn't believe it... he read like a maniac. And each night, we talked about it a little bit. And this was the beginning... I know had a bargaining chip. I promised to read every book he did. Now he has accumulated quite a library of teen novels that we are continually adding to. His reading level is grade 11, and he is only in 7th grade. Definitely worth my time to invest in his reading.

I'll post the different series we have been reading in another post. Maybe this will help you and your children with their reading adventures!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Speedy Joe's Mexican Restaurant

Not speedy, but very good Mexican food. Great prices. It's a hole in the wall type restaurant, but clean. Try the Albondigas Soup.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Can you get married in Heaven?

Can you get married in Heaven?

On their way to get married, a young Catholic couple are involved in a fatal car accident. They find themselves sitting outside the Pearly Gates, waiting for St. Peter to process them into Heaven. While waiting, they begin to wonder: Could they possibly get married in Heaven?

When St. Peter shows up, they ask him.

St. Peter says, 'I don't know.This is the first time anyone has asked that. Let me go and find out,' and he leaves.

The couple sits, and waits, and waits. Two months pass and the couple are still waiting. As they wait, they discuss that if they were allowed to get married in heaven, what was the eternal aspect of it all? 'What if it doesn't work?' they wondered.'Are we stuck together forever?'

After yet another month, St. Peter finally returns, looking somewhat bedraggled. 'Yes,' he informs the couple, 'you can get married in Heaven.'

'Great!' say the couple, 'But we were just wondering, what if things don't work out? Can we also get a divorce in Heaven?'

St. Peter, red-faced with anger, slams his clipboard onto the ground.

'What's wrong?' ask the frightened couple.

'OH, COME ON!' St. Peter shouts, 'It took me three months to find a priest up here! Do you have any idea how long it'll take me to find a lawyer?'

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Olympians! Love them Half-Bloods!

Alright my wonderful readers, I have decided to post an article on a movie my kid wanted to see. We went to see it, now here is my review.

I am sure some of you have heard of the new movie, "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief". So far I have read each of books 1 through 5, but I have to say the movie was an abomination. Had I never read the book, I would have thought the movie was very neat and creative and the beginning of a series set to take on Harry Potter.

SPOILER ALERT: In the book, Annabeth, who is supposed to be this average sized (for a 12 yr old) little blonde girl with a baseball cap, is cast as a tall redheaded (more like dark auburn) gladiator! The latter description matches Clarisse, who hates Percy and is the daughter of the god Ares. Additionally, the character of Clarisse is conveniently left completely out of the movie. This is very odd as she plays such a prominent part in the book. They missed the mark in so many ways: Many critical parts of the book were left out and actually cause the movie to be so unlike the book, I wonder if the producers/writers even read the thing before undertaking the production! Ugh very frustrating

As an aside, I have read all of the Harry Potter books, and the production team was able to deliver fairly accurate iterations of the books while maintaining the quality and integrity of the story.

Friday, February 26, 2010

To Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning for BLOCKING Unemployment Insurance Benefits!

Dear Senator Jim,

I am one of the many, Many, MANY unemployed Americans who have lost their jobs because of the bureaucratic non-sense you politicians have been playing at for the last 30 yrs. Because there was no oversight in the housing industry to keep the mortgage companies, appraisers and real estate agents from NOT acting in the best interest of your constituents, the housing market blew up in everyone's faces. Because the US does not put sanctions on local business that buy overseas, and does not give appropriate tax breaks and leniency for purchasing domestically manufactured goods and services, my job, as well as millions of others have been outsourced, or downsized to other nations. And now, you are going to be the lone ranger in withholding Unemployment Insurance benefits? Just exactly on whose behalf does that decision make any sense? If you feel that WE, Americans, who do not have adequate job opportunities because of the Senate and House and house decisions for the last 2-3 decades, should not be receiving compensation for your screw ups, I mean decisions, then maybe, JUST MAYBE, no no, you CERTAINLY should not receive your Pay, spending account or any other job related privileges for the next year!! What do you think, Jim??? Are you ready to give up the benefits you are preventing us from having? If the US Citizens pay YOU, and you are preventing us from getting paid, then you SHOULD NOT be paid either!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today's Job Market

So I have been searching for regular work for a bit now, and despite the thousands of application and resume submissions I have made, I have yet to be presented with an opportunity besides sales. Now I have to say that i HATE sales, I think most salespeople are uneducated, lairs, or both. I for one do not appreciate the subtlety of sales, and despise the idea of pushing a product/service at someone.

In an effort to continue building my social network, I have often offered my services, and experience to those whom I feel would benefit from it, at zero cost. I figured, ahy not? I might be able to build additional relationships and land a nice gig that way. I even published a small document showcasing the different aspects of a business with which I would be able to assist: Responsibility of an Operations Manager

Oddly enough, I am apparently unable to give away my experience, knowledge, etc.! Very frustrating... O.k. that's it for now. Getting too frustrated to type more.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stupid Laptop

OK I am really really frustrated now. My stupid laptop will not boot into Windows... AAARRRGH. I have done a factory refresh of the whole OS Partition, complete with reformat. I have tried checking the memory chips, cleaning out all the dust -- Still no joy. OMG! I want to throw it against a wall.

I bought it from Fry's, and the warranty expired the beginning of the month. Apparently, the warranty and MFRs warranty run concurrently, so instead of a 3 yr warranty, it appears I paid for a 2 yr 9 mo warranty. Oh Cheesypoofs! I am so mad.

Now, after sinking $3k into the wife's Honda Odyssey to fix the transmission, I don't have the cash to replace the laptop. Not to mention, I am still unable to land a job. /SlamsFaceIntoKeyboard

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Best Burgers Ever!!

I have lived in the Antelope Valley for almost a year now, and I have yet to locate a hamburger joint that can come anywhere close to my favorite hambuger spot of all time: The Athenian Grill in Reseda, CA.

I have searched high and low in this desert community only to be disappointed time and again. In my search I have found eatery's that have other fare I would be happy to rave about (Jimmy's on Sierra Ave @ Ave K for the Best Philly Cheesesteak), but I digress...

The wife and I took a drive into the San Fernando Valley tonight and stopped at Athenian's for some dinner. I ordered my regular Double Cheeseburger with bacon and avocado. Two 1/4 lb beef patties, 2 slices of american cheese, shredded lettuce, a thick slice of juicy tomato, some mayo dressing topped with a pile of bacon, and another pile of fresh sliced avocado wedges!!!  /Drool

Okay, now maybe you are all hungry after reading this, and unless you hit this one burgermeister greek themed eatery, you will nevah (nevah I say) know the joy of sinking your teeth into a burger that is almost too tall to shove into my face hole.

Next time you are anywhere near Reseda, California, stop by The Athenian Grill on Reseda Blvd, just South of Sherman Way. You will not be disappointed. And if you ever try to compare Chili's or some other chain to The Athenian Grill, you will understand why they are not even in the same category.

And, just for you, I have linked a map to the place: Athenian Grill - Reseda

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Starting off with a smile

OK, to start this off with a bang, I have to post a joke I told to my wife years ago. Enjoy:

A tourist walked into a pet shop and was looking at the animals on display. While he was there, another customer walked in and said to the shopkeeper, "I`ll have a C monkey please."

The shopkeeper nodded, went over to a cage at the side of the shop and took out a monkey. He fit a collar and leash, handed it to the customer, saying, "That`ll be $5000."

The customer paid and walked out with his monkey. Startled, the tourist went over to the shopkeeper and said, "That was a very expensive monkey. The normal cost of a monkey is only a few hundred dollars. Why did it cost so much?"

The shopkeeper answered, "Ah, that monkey can program in C; very fast, tight code, no bugs, well worth the money."

The tourist looked at the monkey in another cage. "That one`s even more expensive! $10,000! What does it do?"

"Oh, that one's a C++ monkey; it can manage object-oriented programming, Visual C++, even some Java. All the really useful stuff," said the shopkeeper.

The tourist looked around for a little longer and saw a third monkey in a cage of its own. The price tag around its neck read $50,000.

He gasped to the shopkeeper, "That one costs more than all the others put together! What on earth does it do?"

The shopkeeper replied, "Well, I haven`t actually seen it do anything, but the other ones call it a Project Manager."